Royal Blood @ First Direct Arena, 17/11

Ever dynamic duo Royal Blood exploded into Leeds’ First Direct Arena last Friday, rightfully playing to a huge and enthusiastic crowd. Their latest album, How Did We Get So Dark?, has elevated their popularity far enough to fill arenas, and they seem to be embracing this growth.

Opening with ‘Lights Out’, Royal Blood produced a wall of sound that filled the arena. Ben Thatcher’s pounding drums and Mike Kerr’s powerful guitar are a match made in heaven. Both seemed extremely comfortable on the huge stage and were, for the most part, cool and relaxed throughout. This persona only broke when someone threw a shoe at the stage, which Mike was definitely not happy about. Even when there was an issue with crushing in the crowd, the band reacted almost like a primary school teacher, pausing and saying that they would only start playing again once everyone moved back.

The crowd were certainly very excited to see the band. There was a surprisingly wide age diversity amongst the fans, ranging from teenagers to 60-somethings, which I suppose is a testament to Royal Blood’s appeal as a band. They have a very distinct style; hard drum beats, rhythmic bass patterns and growling vocals.

This combination works incredibly well in a huge venue like the First Direct Arena.

The concert finished with ‘How Did We Get So Dark’ which left the crowd on their feet and off their faces cheering, desperate for an encore. Answering the crowd’s prayers, the band then took to the stage again, playing ‘Ten Tone Skeleton’ and ‘Out Of The Black’. Mike commanded the audience brilliantly. It was an electric end to an awesome performance. Royal Blood certainly didn’t disappoint.

Katie O’Kelly